What to Wear in Indonesia

Borobudur Buddhist Temple, Java in August

Borobudur Buddhist Temple, Java in August

Borobudur Buddhist Temple, Java, in September

Borobudur Buddhist Temple, Java, in September

Local street market, September

Local street market, September

Train station

Train station

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General Style Tips

  • Dress is informal in Indonesia.
  • However, it is a hot and humid climate, so we suggest that lightweight clothes in natural fibers (linen, silk and cotton) will be more comfortable and easier to wash.
  • light wool is a good choice to wear against your skin as it naturally helps to regulate your body temperature. It wicks away moisture when it's hot, and doesn't retain odours - even after prolonged wear.
  • Conservative rather than bright colors are advisable.
  • Despite the heat and humidity, men and women should avoid wearing shorts outside of resort areas. And take care not to offend local sensibilities.
  • Wear plenty of sunscreen (we love the Riemann P20 range for 10 hour protection), sunglasses and a sunhat.

What Shoes To Pack

  • Pack lightweight, comfortable footwear for exploring - we love Hotter shoes, for total comfort along with style.
  • Ladies, leave your high heels at home and opt for some nice sparkly sandals instead; try the Lindsay Phillips Switch Flops range - using interchangeable shoe and flip-flop bases with snap-on decorations, you can change your look from day to evening in an instant whilst still packing light.

Clothing Tips for Women

  • Our advice is to avoid wearing revealing clothes as a mark of respect to the country's predominantly Muslim values.
  • A long skirt or pants with a loose cotton shirt with sleeves would all work well and will protect you from the sun.
  • Wearing bikinis and swimwear is fine around the pool at the resort, but not when visiting villages or shopping in town. At such times, we'd recommend you wear a kaftan or sarong at the least. Or, better still, get properly dressed so you fit right in.
  • If you are planning to visit any of the temples on your trip, you should make sure that your arms and head are covered - carry a scarf or pashmina for this.
  • The humidity can play havoc with your hair - so think about accessories or a scarf to keep it looking neat and tidy.
  • If you are there on business, then a suit with tights or stockings will be expected.

Clothing Tips for Men

  • When visiting temples men are expected to wear a sash, however you can normally rent these at the temple.
  • For versatile and stylish beachwear, try the Madda Fella range of shirts, shorts, polos and swimwear.
  • If you are there on business, you should wear a jacket and tie.
  • For great versatile travel jackets with multiple pockets including RFID security options, we love the SCOTTeVEST range.

Pack for the Weather

  • The rainy season is through September, October, November, December, January and February, when a travel umbrella is essential.
  • We love the Weather+ app - it gives an accurate 6 day forecast for day and night, which when you're planning from home is really helpful. You can keep all the places you've been to too - a nice way to remember your trip :) Download for iPad/iPhone or Android

Other Things To Pack

  • Don’t drink or even brush your teeth in tap water. Consider taking a Water-to-Go Filtration Water Bottle.
  • Look after your mobile phone with a phone bunjee - it protects against loss, theft and damage.
  • A bag or soft-sided rucksack is a more practical option than hard cases when traveling around the country, and using packing cubes can help to keep your belongings tidy whilst compressing the volume too.
  • Combine your bag with a fold away day sack that will carry your essentials on day trips.
  • To use electrical gadgets you may need a travel adapter plug, and also a step down voltage converter if your devices are not designed for the local voltage (230V).
  • Avoid paying unexpected baggage fees - use an accurate luggage scale to ensure you keep within the weight allowance. Don't forget to leave room for souvenirs on the way home! Look out for intricate wood carvings or handmade batik fabrics.

Last updated 16 December 2016.

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Pack Light

  • Less luggage to carry
  • Save time packing and unpacking
  • Save money on baggage fees

Pack Right

  • Respect local cultures
  • Feel comfortable and confident
  • Suitable outfits for all occasions

A Message From Helen



I want you to have an amazing vacation. That's why I started WhatToWearOnVacation.com,
to help you pack with confidence and stay safe, secure and comfortable.